Re: Ethics and Morality

Gary Lloyd (
Tue, 7 Oct 1997 18:27:04 -0400 (EDT)

At 01:27 PM 10/7/97 -0700, Damien R. Sullivan wrote:
>On Oct 6, 10:13pm, John K Clark wrote, responding to Greg Burch:
>I think both Delmar England and John Clark have totally missed the point
>of the first part of Greg's post. That, or they're refusing to follow
>his flexible use of "objective". He acknowledged that there isn't some
>Platonic realm of Objective Morals, or anything on the level of the
>presumed laws of physics. He also said that such a result is not very
>interesting. Practically, most people do want to live; practically,
>most people do want to live in societies; practically, most people who
>live in societies do want those societies to work well; and so
>observationally most people should follow certain rules in their
>This isn't "objective" in the sense of physics, or "objective" in the
>sense of "Ayn Rand derived this from a tautology", but it is objective
>instead of subjective in the sense that if you want certain things which
>almost everyone does in fact want then you can't behave arbitrarily in
>all aspects of your life, unless you're far more powerful than them.
>There's nothing in the laws of physics which codes for life but
>practically, chemicals got stirred around; practically, one of them was
>self-replicating; observationally, life happened.
>} just practical matters to take into consideration consider if you want to
>} build a society that works in a certain way, I don't see why they deserve
>} lofty title "Objective Morality" any more than a table listing the
amount of
>I don't think everyone thinks objective morality is such a lofty term.
>Objectively, if you want to live then you should look both ways when crossing
>a street. Normally we leave off the if clause because nearly everyone
>does want to live, or at least they don't want to die by being hit by a
>random car. And no one cares, except in esoteric philosophical
>discussions like this one.
>I'd like to note for the record that I used to side with Rich Artym,
>arch-subjectivist, until I realized this was all much ado about nothing.
>Rich and I were talking philosophical absolutes; Greg Burch was talking
>pragmatic engineering for nearly universal goals.
>} Yet another problem, if "Objective Morality" really is objective then there
>} should be some evidence of it in the non human world but we see none. If you
>No, because morality only applies to beings which can (1) affect each
>other and (2) communicate with each other. And then the form of
>morality depends on how they can affect each other. Asteroids don't
>communicate and sheep can't hurt wolves much.
>Speaking of wolves, you're wrong. We do see something like morality in
>the non-human world, and wolves among each other are the canonical
>There isn't an objective morality keeping a Power from using us as
>feedstock. But if there are multiple Powers, and they hang around each
>other for a while, we can predict the range of their behaviors. That's
>objective morality.

I would only add that all human beings are at birth totally dependent, which
necessitates a dominant/submissive relationship. As they mature, they become
relatively independent. Among independent peers, a morality of
non-aggression/non-submission (the primethic decision), is what emerges.

Of course, then we become parents, and are torn between necessity and
morality. :-)

When the boot of government is on your neck,
it doesn't matter if it's left or right.